- Stop your car. Determine
the extent of damage and injuries.
- Stay calm. Panic can make
others panic and the situation worse.
- Move as far off the roadway as possible,
but stay at the scene of the accident.
Warn oncoming traffic by activating your hazard warning
lights or setting flares.
- Call the police to report
the accident. When the police arrive, ask the investigating
officer where to obtain a copy of the police report.
- Do not admit fault or liability
for the car accident or discuss the car accident with anyone
other than the police and your claims representative.With
everyone all shook up it can be hard not to talk about what
just happened, but that can also lead to you not thinking
clearly and accurately about what happened.
- Exchange vital information
with the other driver involved in the car accident. Write
down the name, address, phone number and license numbers
for all drivers, passengers, and witnesses, particularly
those who were not riding in a vehicle involved in the accident
(pedestrians, bicycle riders, etc.). Ask for the insurance
companies and policy numbers for drivers involved in the
car accident. When you exchange information with the other
driver and give the facts to the police, do not
feel obligated to admit responsibility for the accident.
The things that you say immediately following an accident
may be used against you during the course of litigation.
You may think that you were responsible for the accident
and later learn that the other driver caused it or the other
driver was equally at fault.
- Record the details of the accident
while they are fresh in your memory. Draw a diagram to recreate
the scene. Be sure to include important landmarks to help
determining where certain events happened. Also include
- Time of the accident
- Weather conditions
- Directions of travel prior to accident
- Condition of vehicles (bald tires, broken
headlights, missing mirrors)
- What parts of the vehicles were damaged
- Quick sketch of approximate angle of
collision and where the cars contacted each other.
- Note any traffic devices (stop sign,
yield sign, speed sign, traffic light, school zone,
etc.) or roadway striping (double yellow, bike lane,
- Name and contact information for any
and all witnesses
- Before you allow a truck driver to
pick up your car, be sure to ask the driver how
much it will cost and tell the driver where to take the
car. Get the name, address, license number, registration
number, and telephone number of the driver and the towing
If you have a camera, take as many photographs
as possible of the vehicles, accident scene, and surrounding
area. As much basic information as possible should be gathered
immediately after the accident occurred. As time passes, memories
tend to fade and new versions of the chain of events are created.
Putting the basic information down on paper helps later when
liability for the accident begins to be examined.
To Step 2
Accident Resource has compiled a host of professional directories
to help you locate qualified professionals who can help you
through the traffic accident process. Our professional directories
help you locate qualified personal injury attorneys, medical
specialists (chiropractic specialists), insurance companies,
expert witnesses, traffic investigation police and others.
We have broken everything down so you can easily find qualified
professionals in your area.
Access the Directories